Metastatic Rhabdomyosarcoma: Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy Did NOT Cure Her

Tia is a 56-year-old lady from Indonesia. Sometime in October 2013, she felt a lump in her right groin. Tia underwent an operation to remove the mass. The doctor said it was a tumour (did not mention the word cancer!). Nevertheless, Tia was asked to undergo chemotherapy and was referred to a cancer hospital in Jakarta. However, the family decided that Tia come to Penang insted, for further treatment.

CT scan 5 March 2014

  1. Irregular soft tissue lesion at right inguinal region which could represent sarcoma.
  2. Well-defined soft tissue at right lower lobe adjacent to the right heart border.
  3. Ill-defined hypodense lesions seen at segment 6, 7 and 8 of liver.
  4. Multiple small mesentary lymph nodes at right iliac fossa.
  5. Small uterine fibroid. 

In a private hospital in Penang, Tia underwent a second operation since the doctor said the first surgery did not remove all the mass. After surgery, Tia had 30 sessions of radiotherapy and 6 cycles of chemotherapy, given as 12 injections.

Unfortunately the CT scan revealed that chemotherapy was not effective. Tia received another 3 more cycles of chemotherapy. Again, the treatment was not effective.

Date Chemo drugs
22 April 2014  

 

Intaxel + Gemita

29 April 2014
13 May 2014
20 May 2014
11 June 2014
11 June 2014
16 June 2014
30 June 2014
21 July 2014  

Andriamycin + Ifosfamide

Mesna

11 August 2014
18 August 2014
10  Sep. 2014
11 Sept. 2014
7 October 2014
8 October 2014

The cancer had spread to her lung and liver.

CT scan 8 July 2014

  1. Multiple nodes at both lungs fields which could represent metastatic lung disease.
  2. Bilateral nodular goiters.
  3. Ill-defined hypodense masses seen at the liver, which would represent metastatic disease.
  4. Subcutaneos nodule seen at the right lumbar region and adjacent to right iliac crest, which could represent metastatic nodules.

Impression: Metastatic lung nodules demonstrate progressive increase in size. The metabolic liver lesion is significantly large in size.

The oncologist told Tia to “Go home and wait. Come back again in February 2015 for routine checkup.” Unfortunately by December 2014, Tia developed severe pains in her abdomen.

A CT scan on 6 December 2014 in Indonesia indicated: “Progresive mass metastase pada hepar dan nodul pada paru kiri.” (Progression of liver metastasis in both liver and lung). The largest nodule in the liver was 16. x 9.7 cm.

Tia composite

In January 2015, Tia and her husband came to seek our help. They have decided to give up further  medical treatment.

Listen to her story.

Video 1:  Surgery, radiation and chemo did not cure.

 

Video 2: She came to CA Care after all medical treatments failed.

 

 

Here is the gist of our conversation that day.

Chris: You did two surgeries – before the surgery, did you ever ask if this is going to cure you?

Patient: My hope was to get a cure.

C: Everyone who comes to us also want to a cure. That is normal – expected. But my question is, did you ever ask the doctor if surgery can cure your cancer? Did you ask that question?

P: No, I did not ask. From my understanding if I undergo the surgery, I would be cured!

C: This assumption is not correct!

P: Yes, now it seems it is not correct!

C: You also had chemo – spent a lot of money on that – did you ever ask if chemotherapy was going to cure your cancer?

P: No, I did not ask.

C: See, these are two important questions I often tell patients to ask their doctors before undergoing such treatments. Now, if you were told that these treatments would not cure you, would you go through all these?

P: We have to “berusaha” (meaning, try our best).

C: Okay, “berusaha” or trying your best. Did you ever ask if by trying your best, what is the chance of you getting good result? If the chance is zero (like now) would you have gone through all these?

P: No. But doctor would not want to say such a thing. They say, let’s try and see.

C: Who ask you to come and see us?

P: Sari told me about CA Care four months ago.

C: You knew about us four months ago but did not come and see us. Why wait until now?

P: I had not completed my medical treatment yet.

C: So I now understand. You have done all the medical treatments and failed. They gave up and you come here. Yes, I understand. There are some patients who come after they have spent all their money – no more money to pay their medical bills – then they come to us!

You cancer has spread all over and went to the liver and lung. What do you expect me to do for you? Cure you? That’s impossible.

P: No, just to reduce my difficulties and hopefully also prolong my life a bit. But more important now is to lessen my burden – pain – that I am experiencing now.

C: I understand, but please don’t expect me to cure you! My experience – no human being on earth can cure your cancer. But if you ask me to help you a bit, may be that is possible. And to prolong life? That is only possible with God, I cannot promise you that.

Health is your responsibility. They don’t teach you how to become well. Go home and eat anything you like – that’s wrong. You have to take care of your diet. Please read these books, Food and Cancer and  Healthy Cooking. These can help you. Remember, cancer patients just cannot eat anything they like.

The herbs I am prescribing you are not nice to take – they are bitter and have awful smell. You need to boil them and then drink.

Also after taking the herbs, you may experience “healing crisis” – you may have more pain, diarrhea, etc. Meaning you may feel worse off. Don’t worry, continue taking the herbs and hopefully these will go away after a week or two.

Take the herbs for a month or two. If you don’t get better then you stop taking the herbs. Go and find someone to help you.

Next posting: What you need to know about Rhabdomyosaaracoma

 

 

 

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